BY ROBERT BESKOW
Times Sports Editor
JOHNSTON CITY — The Johnston City Indians and the CWC Bulldogs combined for nearly 650 rushing yards in a BDC football matchup that looked more like a track meet on Friday. The Indians were able to hold off a late CWC comeback and escape with a 36-32 Homecoming victory.
For the second week in a row the opening kickoff was a disaster for the Bulldogs. Last week Fairfield ran it back for a touchdown, and on Friday CWC mishandled it on the receiving end and Johnston City pounced on the bobble at the 11-yard line. Two plays later a Dallas Johnson ran untouched into the end zone to put the Indians up 6-0.
The offenses dominated the rest of the first half. The Bulldogs moved right through the Johnston City defense with Jaedon Reeder, Luke Simon and Ethan Mahon chalking up big gains through the holes opened up by the offensive line. CWC went 77 yards in 11 plays, with Mahon capping the drive with a 1-yard TD run to tie the score at 6-6. The conversion failed, which was key, because at the end of the night the difference in conversion points would decide the game.
Johnston City closed the first quarter with a 10-play, 62-yard drive against a short-handed CWC defense. CWC’s season-leading tackler, Austin Wheeler, and perimeter defender Cooper Craig were out with injuries, and defensive end Chase Harms left in the first half with an injury. Johnston City was able to repeatedly attack the perimeter with their team speed from Dylan Fischer, Dallas Johnson and freshman sensation Austin Brown.
The Bulldogs answered early in the second quarter with an 80-yard drive, reaching the end zone on a 7-yard run by Simon. The Bulldogs completed their only conversion of the night with William Pugsley making a diving catch on a pass from Simon to tie the game at 14-14.
Johnston City scored twice more in the half (both times on runs by Fischer). CWC was forced to punt one time in the second quarter (the only time either team didn’t score on a possession in the half) when they stopped themselves with a penalty.
After Fischer’s second touchdown, the Bulldogs got the ball with less than three minutes left and scored on a run by Mahon with 24 seconds left to bring the halftime score to 28-20.
The second half started out looking like a repeat of the first, with the Indians easily marching down the field to take a 36-20 lead. The Bulldogs responded and moved to within 36-26 on Mahon’s third touchdown run of the night, this one a 10-yarder where he broke a tackle at the two-yard line, lost the ball on a second hit but recovered it in the end zone for the score.
The Bulldogs’ defense finally stiffened in the fourth quarter with stops, a fumble recovery, and a big interception and return by Pugsley to set up the Bulldogs at the Indians’ 19-yard line. Sophomore Davyn Aud brought the Bulldogs within 36-32 with a 4-yard TD run with just under four minutes left. The CWC defense made one more stop to get the ball back with just over two minutes left, but the Bulldogs were unable to mount a game-winning drive.
“We had a small group of plays tonight and we just kept with them because we were being so successful in the running game, but so did they. They ran sweep and trap and we ran sweep and belly” said CWC Assistant Coach Kevin Wolff.
“Our kids executed really well, so it was really good to see our offense get going. I wish we could have pulled it out but it didn’t happen,” said Wolff.
The Bulldogs playoff hopes are gone but the team just wants to keep improving. They will host the suddenly hot Chester Yellow Jackets on Friday in CWC’s Homecoming game.
1 2 3 4 F
(1-5) CWC 6 14 6 6 32
(2-4) JC 14 14 8 0 36
JC – Dallas Johnson 14 run (run failed), 11:08
CWC – Ethan Mahon 1 run (run failed), 6:28
JC – Dylan Fischer 3 run (Austin Brown run), 2:27
CWC – Luke Simon 7 run (William Pugsley catch from Simon), 11:02
JC – Fischer 6 run (run failed), 6:35
JC – Fischer 25 run (Johnson catch from Dalton Frick), 3:00
CWC – Mahon 1 run (run failed), :24
JC – Johnson 16 run (Fischer catch from Frick), 5:21
CWC – Mahon 10 run (run failed), 2:59
CWC – Davyn Aud 4 run (run failed), 3:54
CWC – Jaedon Reeder 14-138-0, Ethan Mahon 18-100-3, Luke Simon 12-76-1, Davyn Aud 5-36-1, William Pugsley 4-8-0. JC – Dylan Fischer 27-152-3, Dallas Johnson 10-74-2, Austin Brown 8-60-0, Mason Bruce 1-5-0.
CWC – William Pugsley 4-8-1-37-0. JC – Dalton Frick 2-3-1-40-0.
CWC – Luke Simon 3-41-0, Ethan Mahon 1-(-4)-0. JC – Austin Brown 1-22-0, Dylan Fischer 1-18-0.
CWC – Ethan Mahon 5-171, Adam Phelps 1-39. JC – William Walsh 6-227.
CWC – Jaedon Reeder 1-30, Davyn Aud 1-10, Luke Simon 1-7, Ethan Mahon 1-6, Eric Mills 1-0. JC – Garrett McBride 2-36, Austin Brown 2-30, Dallas Johnson 1-15, Fischer Terrill 1-0, Will Matyi 1-0.
CWC – Ethan Mahon 1-36. JC – Garrett McBride 1-52.
CWC – William Pugsley 1-17. JC – Dallas Johnson 1-20.
CWC – William Pugsley 1-23, JC – Caide Sloan 1-0.
CWC – Adam Phelps 1-0. JC – None.
Referee: Andy Roberts
Umpire: Byrd Huber
Linesman: Jim Collins
Line judge: Wayne Taylor
Back judge: Mike Galloway